Our lifestyles and the stress induced by them push many women to be in performance, competitiveness and to live each day with the same intensity. However, the female body is governed by cycles, and if we learn to be attentive to them and to respect their rhythm, we discover an untapped potential and an unsuspected harmony.
Which yoga to practice? How to choose your yoga?
There are different types of yoga:
- Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is a type of yoga where the postures are maintained much longer than in the dynamic yogas. Holding the postures allows for great concentration and access to relaxation.
- Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini Yoga involves relaxation and meditation techniques. It is a powerful type of yoga that combines body and breathing practices.
- Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga is a modern yoga, based on a much more thorough practice of asanas and pranayama postures. The benefits are numerous such as relief of back pain, improved digestion and blood circulation and more generally helps the functioning of all organs.
- Yoga Asthanga
Asthanga is a traditional dynamic form of yoga. It is similar to vinyasa yoga in its dynamic, fluid and athletic aspect.
- Vinyasa Yoga
The principle of vinyasa yoga is to synchronize fluid and dynamic movements with the breath. It is a creative type of yoga, where each teacher can compose his flow (= sequence of movements and postures)
- Bikram yoga
Bikram yoga is a type of hot yoga since it allows to strengthen and to soften the body thanks to the heat. It is a contemporary yoga.
- Yin Yoga
Yin yoga is a yoga that is gentle, where the mind is put at the center of the practice. The positions are maintained for a long time, the objective is not the muscular reinforcement but the work on the meridians and the acceptance of the thoughts.
- Restorative yoga
The main objective of restorative yoga is to let go and relax completely, both on a muscular and physical level and on a mental level.
- Prenatal Yoga
As its name indicates, prenatal yoga has been specially designed for pregnant women. Thus, the postures are adapted. Prenatal yoga is mainly made up of breathing exercises, meditation and visualization.
- Anusara Yoga
Anusara yoga is based on the principles of alignment: with the muscular energy, the organic energy, the outer spiral, the inner spiral and the opening to grace.
- Jivamukti Yoga
Jivamukti yoga is a type of yoga based on chanting, bodywork, breathing and music.
Each practice has its own specificity, with more or less intense physical efforts, different postures and movements. But besides all these practices, do you know the yoga of the woman?
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What are the characteristics of Women's yoga ?
Women's yoga is a mixture of different yogas: Hatha, Yin, hormonal yoga and facial yoga.
It mixes dynamic and restorative practices as well as different breathing and energy circulation techniques according to Tibetan practices.
The dynamic postures taken from Hatha Yoga allow to mobilize the body and the joints as a whole in order to gain in mobility and flexibility while respecting the anatomical specificities of each one.
By alternating with Yin postures, we can also play on the deeper planes of the body (fascias, tendons, ligaments etc.) while awakening awareness of body sensations. Thus we learn to listen to our body, to appreciate what makes it unique and to understand what it needs.
To this mix of yin and yang asanas is associated a targeted breathing work. Thanks to dynamic breathing, the different female hormonal centers (hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, ovaries) are stimulated in order to help the body regulate hormonal production by reducing the important gaps that can be created between these different productions. During menstruation, pregnancy, advanced endometriosis, hormone-dependent cancer, fibroids > 5cm this breathing is replaced by deep breathing. The circulation of energy (breathing work in apnea and including the mobilization of our perineum) allows us to redistribute the energy awakened by these breaths in targeted areas and bring relaxation and well-being.
Facial yoga completes the picture: self-massages, acupressure points and exercises to strengthen certain facial muscles are the focus of this practice in order to bring dynamism and decongestion to regain a soothed face and a baby's skin!
What are the benefits of Yoga for women ?
Women's yoga can be practiced by absolutely all women, at all stages of their lives! The female body undergoes many changes throughout life (menstruation and PMS, pregnancy, contraception, menopause, etc.) but sometimes pathologies are added such as hyperthyroidism, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome. It can then be very hard to live in this body and to be at peace with it. Yoga has multiple benefits: in addition to the physical and mechanical effects, it is also a good way to improve the quality of life.n addition to the physical and mechanical effects, it is also a gateway to reconnect with the body, to find pleasure in living with it. It allows us to find the energetic balance, this feeling that makes us feel aligned and serene.
In short, women's yoga is a real moment of softness, a bubble of well-being and relaxation that allows you to find energy, vitality, joy, in your body and in your head! So, what are we waiting for?
Article written by Elodie Deforges
@elodie_yoga_au_feminin on Instagram.